2018 Brazzaville Half Marathon
1.Felicien Muhitira (Rwanda) 1h04’35”
2.Noel Hitimana (Rwanda) 1h06’23”
3.Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 1h07’50”
RWANDA’s duo of long distance runners, Felicien Muhitira and Noel Hitimana, dominated this year’s 15th edition of Semi-Marathon International de Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo on Monday as they scooped gold and silver medals, respectively.
The two were the only Rwandan runners in the one-day event.
Muhitira, 24, successfully retained the title he won last year after covering the 21.0975 km race in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 35 seconds, beating country-man and silver medalists Hitimana by 1:48.
The men’s half marathon winner at this year’s Kigali International Peace Marathon posted 1 hour, 6 minutes and 23 seconds to become the fourth Rwandan athlete to win a medal at the annual event after Eric Sebahire who won bronze in 2016 and, Muhitira and John Hakizimana who took gold and bronze, respectively, at last year’s edition.
Kenyan Wilson Kipsang (1:07:50) finished third to complete the podium.
The former Nyamasheke Athletics Club runner, Muhitira, reclaimed this year’s title just two weeks after defending his gold at the 46th edition of Marvejols-Mende half marathon in France.
Last year, the middle and long distance runner Muhitira won the half marathon in Brazzaville after using 1 hour, 4 minutes and 31 seconds while compatriot Hakizimana took bronze in 1:08:17, nine seconds behind silver medalist Wilson Kipotich of Kenya.
The Italy-based Muhitira has become the first Rwandan to win the annual competition two times in a row, a race that had previously been dominated by Kenyans since its inception in 2004.
On top of the medals, Muhitira was pocketed Rwf 3.8M (Central African CFA franc 2.5million) in cash prize while Hitimana walked away with Rwf 3M.